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Tabcorp, Tatts Group release fees, tax bills as in-play betting war intensifies

TAGs: Australia, Jasmine Solana, Tabcorp, Tatts Group

Operators Tabcop and Tatts Group have laid out their trump cards as the battle over the legalization of in-play betting war in Australia continues.

Tabcorp, Tatts Group release fees, tax bills as in-play betting war intensifiesThe two listed operators recently revealed how much they pay out to the government and sporting bodies in taxes and licensing fees, The Australian reported.

The news outlet had gotten ahold of figures from Tabcorp, which showed that the operator “paid $350 million to the racing industry in Victoria, $263 million to NSW racing and a total of $219 million in state wagering taxes and $91.7 million in race fields fees” for the 2014-2015 period.

Tatts, on the other hand, revealed that it shelled out $26 million in taxes and an additional “$203 million in product fees, mostly to racing in Queensland and South Australia” for the same period, according to the report.

The two operators claimed legalizing in-play betting in the country will further skew the already uneven playing field—in terms of taxation arrangements—they are on, noting that their rivals “pay a $575,000 annual license fee to the Northern Territory and smaller amounts to racing and sporting codes,” an amount far lower than what they pay each year.

Corporate bookmakers, including William Hill, Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Bet 365, have a lower tax base, according to the report. But the Australian Wagering Commission, which lobbies on behalf of William Hill and the rest of the corporate bookies, told the news outlet the listed operators paid higher taxes because they want “to preserve the exclusive rights to run retail betting shops.

Tabcorp and Tatts Group, along with other TAB outlet operators, are fighting against a push for in-playing betting to be legalized in the country. The 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) restricts in-play bets to over the phone or in person at betting shops, but many operators have come up with technological workarounds that allow in-play wagers via mobile apps.

William Hill was the first to roll out a smartphone app, which relies on voice recognition technology to circumvent the country’s prohibition against online in-play betting. Recently, Sportsbet offered a product that involves a phone call over a public switched telephone network, which it claimed makes the app legally compliant.

Last year, the government tasked former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell with reviewing the IGA. O’Farrell has already delivered his report to the government, and its findings were expected to be made public any time soon.

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